Wondering how to heal leaky gut? Read on to learn the 3 simple steps to make that happen. If you’ve been in the “game,” of gut healing and treating leaky gut for any amount of time, you know how frustrating and time consuming it can be. While approximately 3 in 4 people struggle with some sort of gut dysfunction like leaky gut throughout their lifetime, MANY people don’t realize it—chalking their “bad gut health” up to being normal. Is poor gut health your normal? Pooping every 2 to 3 days is “normal” Feeling bloated or passing gas is “normal” Never feeling hungry is “normal” or always feeling hungry is “normal” Abdominal cramping is “normal” However, for those of us who DO realize we have leaky gut, or that our “gut is a mess,” what happens when you do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS, but our leaky gut is STILL not healing?! Do you do “all the right things?” We take a probiotic and prebiotic. We pop digestive enzymes with our meals. We Google search terms like “low stomach acid” or “coffee enemas” We pay close attention to eating a “clean” or anti-inflammatory We sip kombucha We use toxic-free face wash and non-fluoride toothpaste. We drink filtered water out of stainless steel water bottles. Yup, despite our efforts to heal leaky gut naturally (and even though we feel better than when we first started)…our gut health is still a mess Constipation, bloating, gas and all-around GI discomfort are STILL our “norm,” and we cannot figure out HOW to heal leaky gut for good! “What gives?!” you cry. 3 Simple Steps to Heal Leaky Gut for Good Keep in mind…. Gut healing is a marathon (not a sprint). There is a DIFFERENCE in “healing” vs. “managing” your gut health. And, often times, the path of LEAST resistance is where the MOST healing will be won. Let’s talk about each. 1. GUT HEALING IS A MARATHON (NOT A SPRINT) Pop question: How long have you been struggling trying to “heal leaky gut”? Moreover, how long did you lead a stressful, or non-gut-supportive lifestyle prior to “healing your gut?” Chances are the time you spent eating processed foods as a kid, taking antibiotics, burning a candle at both ends, eating artificial sweeteners and OTHER non-gut-friendly lifestyle behaviors far outweigh the time you’ve spent towards healing your gut now. That said, patience and time, my friend. Behold the turtle—the slow and steady—that wins the race. When it comes to “healing your gut” or improving leaky gut syndrome, consistency, time and persistence will be the biggest game changers that pay off. And, while it takes approximately only 5 days for your gut lining itself to repair itself and form new tissue, IF you continue to have other underlying (unaddressed) stressors—such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), parasites, fungal or bacterial infections, or unaddressed food intolerances (even “healthy” foods)—then gut healing will be a longer process. All things considered, don’t forget where you started, as well as where you’ve come from,. This day in age, typically, the amount of time spent on gut healing vs. living a stressful lifestyle does not compare, and the slow and steady gut healing will also win the race. 2. HEALING YOUR GUT VS. MANAGING YOUR GUT HEALTH Are you managing your gut or healing your gut health? There is a difference. Often times, people wander down the heal leaky gut rabbit hole without realizing they are actually simply managing their gut health. They do things like: Take probiotics and prebiotics. Eat fermented foods. Drink water. Eat Paleo, or AIP, or GAPS, or Low-Fodmap. Sautee their vegetables. Sip bone broth. —And beyond However, they have yet to actually address the UNDERLYING gut conditions that brought them to not feel well in the first place. Sort of like cleaning your room versus hiding all your toys in your closet to make your room look clean, gut HEALING vs. gut MANAGING is different too. Beyond probiotics and prebiotics, clean eating and gut-loving bone broth, if and when you have an UNDERLYING pathogen such as: Undiagnosed Food Intolerances. SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) Parasites/Fungal Overgrowth. Dysbiosis (Too Much or Too Little of certain bacteria) Viral Infection. Autoimmune Conditions. Then, often times, all the clean eating and probiotic popping in the world will not fully correct or reverse the “problem.” A customized gut-healing approach involves two essentials: a.) Assessing and realizing what gut “pathogen” (underlying condition) you have in the first place. b.) Treating it appropriately with a more targeted protocol (such as anti-microbial herbal supplements to “kill off” SIBO, or taking certain strains of bacteria while eliminating the others). If you’ve been at the whole “gut healing thing” for a little while and your gut is “still not healing,” considering what (if any) underlying forces may be working “against you,” and treating them with a healing—not simply managing—approach. Where to start? Working with a trained Functional Medicine Practitioner or Nutritionist who can help you “dig deeper,” underneath the hood in order to figure out your body’s imbalances is critical. 3. TAKING THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE Last but not least…sometimes we are the greatest forces standing in our own way of truly healing leaky gut for good, versus holding on to our gut struggles (and gut identity). While there is still a highly physical component to the process of healing leaky gut, there is also a great mental component—and sometimes our mentality is the biggest game changer in moving us forward or keeping us stuck. Are you keeping yourself stuck? Are you clinging to the food intolerances you have—and neglecting the abundance of foods you CAN eat? Have you been eating an AIP diet for a LONG time, and you’re scared to “step outside” the box and experiment with a food your body actually may be able to handle now? Do you constantly ask Google questions about gut health? Do you dread feeling constipated or bloated so much—that it actually happens EVERY time? Do you continue to lead a stressful lifestyle outside your food factors (like not getting enough sleep or overtraining) that continues to drive your symptoms? Do you continue to eat certain foods you know don’t make you feel well, but you cannot wrap your head around WHY your protein powder (with stevia) or sweet potatoes don’t sit well with you? Do you stress out over food or how poorly you feel that stress dominates meal times and your daily thoughts? One of my favorite studies around gut healing involves the integration of hypnotherapy in the treatment of IBS (Lee et al, 2014). Findings reveal that hypnotherapy is just as effective—if not more—than conventional treatments. Truly a mind over matter. So as we think, therefore we become. While there IS a big physical component to healing leaky gut and how we feel as a whole, do NOT discount how our mental approach (and our own resistance to trusting that our body knows what it needs and how to heal) can help us thrive…if we just listen. Want to really know how to heal leaky gut for good? Dr. Lauryn Lax takes a whole-body approach to your gut healing—mental, physical and emotional support to help you: Figure out what—if any—underlying conditions are driving your symptoms. Customize a nutrition and lifestyle plan the works for your body. Support your mental and emotional healing—including improving your relationship with food and your body. And ultimately, help you feel good, inside and out. Schedule a 10-minute complimentary phone consult Dr. Lauryn today to find out how Dr. Lauryn can help you thrive—not just get by—in your gut healing journey today.